What Causes to Democracy Fail?
It will be structured along the following lines:
1 statement of research topic
2 review of literature relevant to the research topic
3 formulation of hypotheses
4 defining and operationalizing concepts
5 design for testing hypotheses/data analysis (and, if time permits, actual testing)
Format for the Research Project:
Additionally and in relation to your literature review, in this section you will need to (2) clearly present your argument and show the logic of the argument. Your thesis statement should start with: “In this paper I argue that [… XàY]” or “The major argument of this study is [… XàY]”. Next, explain why we should expect a relationship between the factors that you think are important and the phenomenon/phenomena that need/s to be explained (15%). In this section try to make the big points that relate to the question that you are answering. After you write a paragraph try to re-read it to make sure that it is clear how this paragraph relates to the question under consideration.
It would be admirable if in this section try to demonstrate how your answer “fits” the previous knowledge (analyzed as a part of the literature review). If there is a disagreement among scholars on a particular issue, does your study solve this disagreement? Does it take any particular side? If so, then why? If there is a complete agreement among scholars on a particular issue, does your argument agree with them or does it bring a new revolutionary explanation that overturns the conventional wisdom? Or maybe the problem has not yet received much attention and you are a pioneer in explaining the phenomenon (phenomena) of your interest. Or perhaps you are simply testing somebody else’s argument that has not been tested yet? In either case, demonstrate how your argument is superior to other explanations, if any of them exist.
While it would be certainly admirable if your findings support your argument and you use a complex research methodology, yet I completely understand if your analysis is preliminary and rudimentary and your findings do not support the proposed argument(s) and hypothesis(es). What is necessary for the purposes of this paper is to show that you can apply skills acquired in this course (such as literature review, argument and hypothesis formulation and data analysis), then to have great results and fancy methods.
My Previous Literature Review: This is my literature review (listed below) that you are supposed to elaborate on.
Why Democracy Fail
Most studies on the stability of democracies are based on social-economic or politico-institution traditions but not both. This literature review will, therefore, combine the two concepts in examining the stability of democracy. Various variables (such as inequality, insecure elites, maintaining of power among other variables) are considered to contribute to democracies’ failure. Therefore, this paper will argue that both political and socioeconomic factors, contributes to democracies’ failure.
Furnman (2019) systematic review argue that people of low economic status are always the majority. In the early days the rich, seized power and wealth and made freedom privilege for the poor. However, democracy was established to balance out the inequality of power. Most rich countries have adopted democracies, but the same cannot be said of countries like China (Furm 2017). Chimp’s (2020) game-theoretical model holds that democracies, especially the young democracies, fail because income inequality levels weaken them. The increasing income disparities indicates a dysfunctional democratic state in which economic power is consolidated in the hands of few people; as such economic opportunities should be widely shared and diffused. Kapstein’s (2012) analytical review holds that young democracies do not provide an enough supply of public goods such as health care and education and, in most cases, fail. Democracy is expected to have the ability to deliver public goods to a broader spectrum of citizens and not just the elite. Hence if democracy does not provide and meet these demands, then it will undoubtedly fail.
Secondly, most studies have agreed that the incumbents’ insecurity is a significant factor in the failure of democracy. As noted in the early days, the elite group consolidated power and health at the poor people’s expense. Notably, the economically disadvantaged group is the majority. Therefore, to maintain power during those days, the elite ensured that they economically sabotage the poor and freedom was a privilege (Furnman, 2019). The elite feared that they might lose their power when societies become democratic. Furnman (2019) argues that the ruling elite who were confident about chances of competition consolidated power under the conservative political party before the establishment of democracy. This allowed them to compromise and give some power to survive a changing landscape (Chimp, 2020). Those ruling elites who commanded power before democracy availed political actions that were easier than competing under democratic conditions ( Furnman, 2019). Some of the actions include electoral fraud, corruption, establishing counter-institutions and attacking the media (Furnman, 2019).
Similarly, Chimp (2020) noted that the ruling elites change electoral laws and constitution to ensure that they stay in power. Consequently, this leads to a democratic breakdown. At times the ruling elites try to seize power as a defensive act. In this case, power is used as a pre-emptive weapon against opponents for the fear of being ousted (Chimp (2020). For instance, military leaders seize powers in coups when they fear that the incumbent government is institutionalizing partisan advantage—the case of Mali in Africa, Thailand and Bangladesh. According to Kapstein (2012), combinations of these fears with the usual temptations of political power makes democracy consolidation difficult. As such, Frum (2017) holds that structural conditions shapes the expected payoffs from various actions that are taken, but no strategic uncertainty becomes an engine to the breakdown of democracy.
Moreover, Kapstein argues that ethic fragmentation fuels democratic breakdown. Ethnically fragmented states face the challenge of building institutions that become unable to overcome. Such states are face tensions that not easier to resolve. The insider (dominant group) consolidates all power in that the outsiders (the minorities) find it hard to have an alternative. The fragmentation of the party systems is prone to democratic collapse that systems with low-level fragmentation (Frum, 2019).
As such, most of the literature has highlighted ethic and party systems fragmentation as one reason why democracy collapse. Others have highlighted social-economic factors such as income inequality and poverty, maintenance of power, and the incumbents’ insecurity as the main reasons (Frum 2019). Therefore, previous studies have discussed the same issues. However, they individually highlight in depth each factor. With this, my literature conforms with the previous studies. My literature review brings all factors together to give the issue a broader perspective.
Discussing the relationship between these factors will help people understand how democracy works. In addition, people will understand how democracy can be sustained. As such, democracy can be a tool of significant political change and equality of power (Frum, 2019). For instance, if the government can ensure that the public goods are available to the citizens, people would not be looking to overthrow the government. Consequently, the incumbents would be confident to compete with their rivals in elections fairly. Moreover, when all communities are part of the government, minority groups can voice their concerns.
Chimp. D (2020). Why Democracies Fail…or How? https://dartthrowingchimp.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/why-democracies-fail-or-how/
Furnman (2017). Democracy Falls: Why Democracies Fail. Retrieved from
Frum, D (2017). Why Do Democracies Fail? Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/06/why-do-democracies-fail/530949/
Kapstein, E. (2012). Why Democracies Fail: Lessons from Mali? Retrieved from https://www.cgdev.org/blog/why-democracies-fail-lessons-mali
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